When you are starting off with dyeing, you probably have loads of ideas of what you want to try first – variegated, solid colours, dark, pastels etc. To stop your house filling up with newly dyed additions to your stash (although this is no bad thing, right?) and, more importantly, to get the most out of your undyed batch of yarn, why not try using mini skeins to try ideas out on?
Here are 10 mini skeins ready for dyeing – aren’t they cute?
These skeins are around 10g. I find this gives you enough yarn to get a good idea of what a full skein might look like and you get to try 10 ideas out on one 100g skein. And if it goes wrong, you can chalk it up to experience without having ruined a whole skein from your supplies. Treat them just as you would a full one – but best to wind it just over your forearm rather than with a niddy noddy, otherwise you’ll get a long spindly little skein! A digital kitchen scale is great for measuring out the mini skeins, and is also useful for estimating yardage in projects.
At the weekend, I tried out some contrasting ideas on some superwash merino 4ply:
Another way of trying out ideas without committing to a full skein, is to overdye the ‘waste’ yarn that you might have left over from other projects. Yes, the base colour will affect the end result, so it would be hard to replicate with undyed yarn, but it can be a great way of getting to grips with dyeing a new base. This works particularly well with ‘precious’ bases like silk and cashmere – you don’t want to waste a full skein of these!
I have a few tiny balls of silk laceweight left over from previous projects, too little to do anything useful with. While I wait for my mulberry and tussah silks to be delivered, I can have a play around with these first – will report back!